This Town’s Most Famous Resident Is a Pink Pig Named Ernestine

When Joanne Clayton spotted a stray animal near her home in Illinois, she had no idea how important it would become to her community.

One day I noticed an animal near the woods by my house. It wasn’t a skunk, an opossum, or a fox—in fact, it seemed to have no fur at all.

Weeks later, I got a clear view of the critter: a big pink pig. I couldn’t imagine how a pig had strayed into our suburb, but she decided to move in. I left a bucket of water out, which she drank politely at first but then dumped to make a mud puddle. Soon she was seen wandering the neighborhood with her new bestie, a black Lab named Harley.

Neighbors set up a pig-spotting page on Facebook, where we posted photos and videos of Porkchop, as we named her. Eventually, the sightings began causing traffic jams. We learned Porkchop was a repeat escape artist from a local farm. By now, the farmer thought her more trouble than she was worth.

A nearby hobby farm was happy to give Porkchop a new home and even a new name: Ernestine. Two years later, Ernestine is thriving with ample friends, food, and mud to wallow in. And as the town’s most famous resident, she even gets a float in Herrin’s spring parade. —Nominated by Joanne Clayton

Next, read the heartwarming story of a stray cat who brought home a stray cat.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest